24 Nov 2014

the Eight Generation - Media

When someone says 8th generation game consoles they are speaking about XBox One and PlayStation 4. Wii U counts as an Eigth generation game but rarely when you say 8th generation. I've been trying to write a post on the 8th generation for a while. I've also been trying to figure out which if the two 8th generation consoles, in this case between XBox One and PlayStation 4, I was going to pick up.

Nintendo has not wow'ed me since the N64. It hasn't met my likes or wants since the SNES. Unless there is a killer Mario, Link or Metroid game Nintendo has nothing for me. That's sad considering they were my childhood. It's as if I grew up and they stayed in Never-never land. Metal Marines, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy 3 (6 by the Japanes numbers), UN Squadron, and Arcana.

The SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) is a classic. It's got Super Metroid and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Yet it's a fourth generation system and we just busted into the eight generation. I even think that the seventh generation may be in fact the greatest console generation we've ever had, surpasing the superiority of the fourth generation.

Back on track - I wanted to play these new games. Far Cry 4, Shadows of Mordor, Assassin's Creed: Unity, the new Mass Effect... the list goes one. When Brother Bear became a dad I decided to get a new eigth generation system so we could play Assassin's Creed: Unity for the multiplayer.

So I picked up an XBox One.

Now Why?

Microsoft vs Sony
Both are heartless corperations that only care to inovate enough to keep control of their domains, gain more control within their domains, and make money. Both are shity to deal with depending on who is in charge. Both make horrible mistakes all the time that cost them customers.

I picked Microsoft over Sony because the way Sony does buisness. They are stuck in their mode of buisness and have not changed. In some cases with the handeling of the PS3 they got worse. In the days of the PS and PS2, Sony hunted for developers for their console. It got them Konami's Metal Gear Solid, Square Soft's (now Square Enix) Final Fantasy 7... the list goes on. When PS2 came oout they tried to keep folks locked in with some great games like Capcom's Resident Evil 4, and their God of War franchise. Yet Sony had bumps -

QA's where a developer sends in a game to Sony to make sure it meets their quality standards were always hard to work with primary due to Sony working only in Japanese. Now this shifted in the PS2 era when Sony developed Sony Computer Entertainment born from Sony Music Entertainment Japan. They tried to reach out with less language barriers with Sony Computer Entertainment of America and make closer bonds with the non-Japanese market but that fell back a few steps when Sony threw a huge portion of their pot into Bluray and the PS3. Developers have horror stories dealing with Sony and working with the more complex PS3 hardware.

This is just a single instance of Sony doing bad buisness - which if you look at the whole company Sony is not doing well. When companies don't change or go back to old habbits those companies do not do well. SEGA and Nintendo both suffered from the same Japanese buisness mentality that is putting the screws to all the big Japanese corperations. SEGA is a shadow of itself and Nintendo is sucking at the tit of nostalgia instead of being the source of inovation.

Microsoft may not be much better as a company but they handle their buisness and their relationship with the customer much better. Even after the 2013 E3 fuck up with the Microsoft press conference they fight to gain my buisness... my feeling with Sony is they are not. Even if that feeling is an illusion, it's still something.

PSN vs XBL
Playstation Network is not the same as XBox Live. It was free but a poor shadow of the much better XBL. You had to pay for XBL to play on it... the cost the same as a single game. Once a year I had to pay the same price of a game for my system and I had unlimited access to the features on XBL. PSN had poor service, a major security breach in 2011, and less support. XBL was down for one evening and every XBL gold member was given one extra free month of service.

PSN is not where Sony spends it's time. PS3 was where all their efforts went. Microsoft realised very early on that once sales of the XBox 360 leveled off they main source of income was game royalties and XBL subscriptions. That made them their money and they spent their efforts in that direction.

The result was more people played on XBL and were much happier. When online play became a major factor for console sales the happier customer was the best adverts that Microsoft could invest in. 48 million users on XBL (with a majority paying for the Gold membership) and only 7.9 million users on the Playstation Plus (the paid portion of PSN)

Exclusive Games
Exclusive games are less important in the last two generations. Yet for some they provided the tipping point. Mass Effect and Halo verus God War and Uncharted at the time of purchas when I was looking at the PS3 and XBox 360. In the end I missed out on one of the great Action Adventure games, Uncharted 2 but I did earn access to the best RPG trillogy of all time. Since those early days exclusivity has been removed from Mass Effect and PS3 has Last of Us - a great looking game. Yet I got games like Mark of the Ninja, Shadow Complex, and Fable 2. The list of exclusive games is getting even shorter.

I miss out on very few games if I snagged a XBox One because most of the games I want are 3rd party games. Only the odd few games we solo to one system, so this box to check became less and less relevent. Instead exlusive games were games I could share physical copies with my mates. Ontos, Pale Rider, Ferrus Manus, Brother Bear, Papa Bear, CP, Brother Tzar... its a long list - only Rocko and Wolf picked up PS3s and stayed with them.

Ontos, Pale Rider and Ferrus Mannus are more towards PC gaming. Papa Bear, Brother Tzar, and CP are still on the 360 and don't play much with me. Only Brother Bear is playing on the XBox One and that was the push for me. Most folks I know are not yet crossing over yet and Wolf is going to stay loyal to Sony.

Why?
I picked XBox One because of the online service and my history and experience with that service. I like the controller much better than the Playstation controller. It feels more solid and less fragile. When I play some games, I feel like I have better control and response from the XBox controller over the Playstation controller. Removable battery pack is a preference in case of issues with charging. I also get to keep my gamerscore from my XBox 360 which does not sound important but there are a few games where I'm proud of my achivements and thats a little thing that kept me in the Microsoft camp.

It's the little things that won me over but it was Sony's lack of buiness sense (as a whole company) that started me on the XBox side from the begining. Windows may be a shity OS but Microsoft is not fucking up my Spiderman movies to make a buck.

No one is a clear winner but these are some of the reasons why I picked somone.